A message to all supporters.
The year since our last Rainbow Laces match has seen some important milestones.
Firstly, Josh Cavallo in Australia became the first male professional football player in a major league worldwide to come out as gay. Then in the summer Jake Daniels of Blackpool became the first in England, to be followed only last month by Zander Murray in Scotland.
Does that mean everything is ok? Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
When Leeds United announced their sponsorship of Leeds Pride this summer, unfortunately we still saw negative and dismissive comments and that is why the Rainbow Laces campaign is still so important.
Rainbow Laces celebrates the LGBTQ+ community but it also highlights that there is still an issue. Hopefully, it will make people think about their language and behaviour and it is an opportunity for everyone to demonstrate that they are against discrimination.
Stephen Wignal from Marching Out Together has said: “We are incredibly proud that our club takes such a prominent role in Rainbow Laces and throughout the year.
“There are young fans still struggling with how to discuss their sexuality, or LGBT+ people who are afraid to go to a game, or the straight allies who fear abuse when they speak up for us, so to have Luke Ayling march with us for Pride in June was a game-changer.
“Also, to see our name on a range in club shops and our badge printed on official shirts is a really powerful statement that everyone is welcome at Leeds United.”
Things are definitely changing for the better and we are proud that Leeds United is leading that change. But there is still a long way to go before we can truly say that football is open for everyone.
So, please wear your rainbow laces or one of our scarves or badges and help us make that change come more quickly.